Archive for the ‘(2012) Back to Basics’ Category

Let us Rejoice in it.



All the proof I need of our Lord and Savior, is written daily in the sky and all around us is the natural beauty of this world.
God is in the science behind it all.


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   If you’ve spent any time around horses you have probably seen one or two with a blanket on, out in a pasture somewhere or maybe in a stall.  I’ve discussed the pros and cons of blanketing your horse with many people and I’ve gotten a hundred different opinions. There have been the old-time Cowboys who say a horse is a horse and they shouldn’t be blanketed, and there are those people who blanket when the temperature drops below 45 degrees no matter what.
    Based on all these opinions and my own fact finding, I’ve formed my own beliefs on blankets that fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
Allow me to share:

I blanket Molly. Horse Country 045
Here  is when and why
-She is 22 years old
 As horses get older their systems don’t work as well as a younger horses might.  If she were only 10, unless it was snowing or raining and below freezing, I probably wouldn’t blanket her. 
-When it gets below freezing, she shivers.
I am aware that shivering is a part of how they keep warm, but it will also cause them to use up a lot of energy and that causes them to lose weight. & Even if Molly could stand to lose a couple of pounds, the winter is not the best time to do it.
When it rains or snows in the winter, it freezes to her coat and again, she shivers.
Even if Molly were 3 years old with a thick winter coat, if it’s snowing outside and they’re going to get wet, I will blanket. 
-In our pasture there is no wind break and I do not stall my horse.
Unfortunately where I board there is not a windbreak and therefore no place my horse can really get out of the elements, so a blanket is the best I can do to provide her with reasonable shelter under the circumstances.
 These are just a couple of reasons I blanket Molly, but there are a few more reasons I would recommend it.
-If your horse doesn’t grow a thick coat, consider blanketing when it snows.
I would also recommend that you leave it off UNLESS it is going to snow, so that they have the opportunity to grow a thicker coat over time.
-Obviously, if your horse is sick a blanket can be a life saver, but use it wisely.
People tend to think that if your horse is in a stall, you don’t have to blanket but that’s not always true. If it’s been a very cold night and you walk into say, a barn. You’ll notice that unless it’s a heated barn, the stalls are usually colder inside than out. 

If you consider blanketing your horse, be aware that you have to make time to put it on and take it off at the appropriate times.  
   – You can’t blanket a horse on a 50 degree sunny day, if it’s supposed to snow that night. They will sweat under the blanket and most likely get sick.
Wait until it cools down enough.
    – But if you wait too long, and the snow gets there before you do, if your horse is wet don’t put that blanket on or again, it will get sick.
   – And when it warms back up, make sure you know the weather ahead of time. Have that blanket off by the time it reaches 40 degrees, especially on sunny days or the horse will sweat and be uncomfortable and again, they can get sick.

And once you take the blanket off, it’s always nice to let your horse have a good roll. I’ll take Molly to our arena and she’ll happily roll and scratch in the pea gravel.  
  So all in all, if you choose to blanket just use your discretion and know your horse and be responsible and they will work to your benefit.

I have had Molly’s blanket for 5 or 6 years and it’s never torn, all the clips are still intact and it still fits well. It’s a Saxon 1200D Turnout Blanket from statelinetack.com.  
Happy trails!

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a quickie

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!
Its been a while since I’ve posted but with all the holiday hoopla I just haven’t had time to sit down and write, and now that the hoopla is over, my keyboard decided that it would no longer allow the ‘C’, X, Enter, or F11
buttons to function.  I’ve had to get pretty creative with words that don’t have a C in them, and not having an enter button where I like it, is just annoying.

I don’t have too much to share with you all, I’ve been out of school for a few weeks and my fridays have been fairly quiet.
Last week we spent the day trimming 6 alpacas, 1 llama and 3 goats.
Always entertaining!
And this past friday we spent the day mucking stalls and fixing a foot on a pony that had been hollowed by thrush and yet somehow had no damage to the sensitive tissue, though all the frog had been eaten away.

This pony has been through a lot, and she is a very crotchety little old lady, but she’s got spunk and I like her 🙂

Keep yall posted, hopefully I’ll get a new keyboard soon.
Happy Trails!
Too Funny!

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Had a very productive day today, went to the Andulusian barn and got the colt’s right front foot trimmed FINALLY. It’s only taken us about a month.
It would be so much easier to work with these animals if they were handled during the week BEFORE we get there.
The lady we are working with had no concept of handling or training, she just expects us to be able to pick up this colt’s foot and trim it, with no training what so ever. If it’s so easy, maybe she should do it. (Heaven forbid!)

We also got four donkeys and two mini horses feet trimmed today at a private barn. They are really fun to work with, I wasn’t so much a fan at first but I really am learning to enjoy them. Especially the donkeys. My favorite though is a mini mule named Molly. Hmm I wonder why I’m partial? Ha!
Maybe santa will bring me a mini donkey (or mini mule) for Christmas!
Then I could train it to drive and save on gas!


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Today is an overcast, sort of gloomy, napping kind of day.  My dog is napping, my mom has been napping, and when I got to the ranch, Molly and the other horses were napping. 
I went out to the pasture to retrieve Miss Molly, only to find her snoozing peacefully. I don’t catch her doing this very often so I took the opportunity to sit next to her and relax for a few minutes.  All too soon the lure of food prompted her up, so on we went for lunch and a quick grooming session.

We went back to the pasture after she ate and I plopped myself on a tire to see what Molly would do.
In the book   Horse, Follow Closely by Gawani Pony Boy, he explains how important it is to spend time just watching your horse interact with his or her herd, and I rarely take the time to do that. So for 20 minutes today I watched the horses snooze.  It was really a funny, and at the same time, peaceful experience. Did you know horses snore? And dream? I did, but until today I’d never witnessed it for myself. There were snores and farts and whickers and other assorted horsey noises that just gave me such a sense of peace.  If you’re not a horse person this probably sounds strange to you, but if you are I’m sure you understand.   There is no feeling quite like being around horses, there is so much to learn from them.  I certainly enjoy my education through them.
Anyway y’all that’s my rambling for the day.
Happy Trails!

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Walking on a line is very important, Molly has always been a horse with a lot of “Go”
Which is great unless you want a relaxed, easy trail ride.

Horses know how to run, it’s easy for them. Making them walk or trot on a line teaches patience and disipline, with the benefit of keeping/getting your horse in shape.

 At the end of a session or when I want her to turn the other direction,
I will have Molly turn in to be with a gentle tug on the line, then I hold the rope up and tell her to “Stand” until I whistle for her to come in to me.  

Molly is also learning to ground tie, this is a very important skill to teach your horse. Tying to a post or rail is over rated. This will help build your trust relationship and also teaches your horse patience.

Happy Trails everyone!

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   Well people the elections are finally over, and you know what I’m happiest about? No more commercials and ads! I can listen to my radio without having to change the station every 10 seconds, I can watch the Telly without hearing what so and so can do better than whoever.  It’s all over and I can focus on whats really important, Christmas advertisements of course!
*Le sigh* It never really ends does it?

On a happier and Tastier note, Wednesdays have sort of become the unofficial home cooked meal day in our house as  it’s the only day of the week I’m not completely overwhelmed with things to do.  My mom and dad are both usually home and we get to enjoy a little family time, what better way than in the kitchen?  This delicious dish we made just last week!
I needed to use up some left over chicken and potatoes and SO:




Chicken Pot Pie with Cheesy Mashed Tot Topping
this recipe adapted from family.go.com

  • 3 chicken breasts
    (we ended up using 1 chicken breast and some precooked chicken from the store, same difference)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups frozen carrots
  • 1 can sweet peas
  • 1 can mixed veggies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/4 cup full fat milk
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
    (I used medium cheddar, extra sharp cheddar & parmesan)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Potato Topping

  • 1 pound potatoes,  chopped into large pieces
    We didn’t peel them, but you can if you choose
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • a generous tablespoon of butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Put the chicken into a ovenproof dish, season and cover with boiling water. Cover with foil and poach in the oven for 25 minutes or until just cooked.  (As our chicken was already cooked, we skipped this step)
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and carrots and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes until just softened. Add the vinegar and cook until it has evaporated, then add the flour and cook for one minute. Add the lemon juice, then gradually add the milk and stock, stirring all the time until the sauce is thick and simmering. Add half the cheese, peas and mixed veggies, then season well.
    (I used more cheese than was called for, we put medium cheddar in at this point and saved the extra sharp cheddar and parmesan for the topping)
  3. Shred the chicken and stir into the mixture, then either pour into a 2 pint ovenproof dish or some ramekin dishes to make individual portions.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with the milk, then spoon over the top of the chicken mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese(s)
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and hot in the middle.

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